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The Pearl Thief
Contributor(s): Wein, Elizabeth
ISBN: 1484717163     ISBN-13: 9781484717165
Publisher: Disney Pr
    OUR PRICE: $17.09  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: May 2017
Annotation: Recovering from an injury at her grandfather's estate in the aftermath of an incident she gradually realizes may not have been an accident, 15-year-old Julia investigates the disappearance of a missing person alongside a boy whose family has been shaped by stark prejudices. By the Edgar Award-winning author of Code Name Verity. Simultaneous eBook. 50,000 first printing.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Scottish Travellers (Nomadic people); Fiction.
Mystery and detective stories.
Friendship; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2016041527
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 5.75" W x 1.00" (1.12 lbs) 325 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 188894
Reading Level: 5.9   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 13.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q70752
Reading Level: 5.6   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 20.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2017 Fall)
Code Name Verity protagonist Julie begins this prequel in 1938 as an earnest fifteen-year-old. While idling by the river on her family's dwindling Scottish estate, she is mysteriously knocked unconscious and rescued by a group of Travellers. The ensuing atmospheric mystery is complete with love affairs, gruesome offstage violence, three-thousand-year-old artifacts, and pearls once owned by royalty. Wein's ability to inhabit a young woman of another era shines. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2017 #3)
Julia Beaufort-Stuart (called Julie), whom readers first met as a captured WWII pilot and spy in Code Name Verity (rev. 5/12), begins this prequel in 1938 as an earnest fifteen-year-old who returns from school to her family's dwindling Scottish estate. While idling by the river, overcome by nostalgia, she is mysteriously knocked unconscious. She's rescued by a group of Travellers, who are, unsurprisingly, seen as suspects of the assault by the bigoted townspeople. Julie can't remember what happened; but she believes she's the last person to have seen the now-missing Dr. Housman, an antiques scholar cataloging the family's estate before auction. The ensuing atmospheric mystery, complete with love affairs, gruesome offstage violence, three-thousand-year-old artifacts, and pearls once owned by royalty, is smaller in scale than Verity or its concentration camp–set companion Rose Under Fire (rev. 11/13). In this setting, Julie has the time and space for relatively carefree impulsivity, including sexual experimentation (with both male and female kissing partners). But there's plenty of evidence of who Julie will become, from her eagerness for adventure to her ire at the mistreatment of the Travellers (explored further in an appended author's note). Wein's ability to inhabit a young woman of another era has more than enough room to shine through in the often witty first-person narration. The Pearl Thief stands alone as a diverting piece of historical fiction/mystery but takes on extra poignancy for those aware of Julie's eventual fate. shoshana flax Copyright 2017 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 March #1)

In 1938, Lady Julia Beaufort-Stuart, 15, returns from boarding school for one last idyllic summer at her late grandfather's Scottish estate, which has been sold to pay his medical bills. Her plans are upended when she's assaulted near the river where she and her grandfather harvested mussels for their pearls. Rescued by tinkers who worked her family's estate for centuries, Julia awakens with no memory of who knocked her unconscious and is startled to learn that a scholar hired to catalogue the estate's antiquities is missing. Julia enlists the tinkers, Euan and Ellen McEwen, to help unravel what's happened, partly to ensure that discrimination against the tinkers doesn't result in their arrest for crimes they didn't commit. Each thread of this novel is exquisitely woven; Wein is a deft plotter—the complex narrative is paced like a mystery—and vivid Scottish slang adds humor and texture. It isn't necessary to have read Code Name Verity to enjoy this prequel, but readers who fell in love with Julia the spy will appreciate learning about where she first discovered what it means to be a friend. Ages 12–up. Agent: Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown. (May)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 April)

Gr 8 Up—In this prequel to Code Name Verity, set in 1938, Julia Beaufort-Stewart, 15, returns home from school in Paris for summer break to unhappy changes. The family's house and land have been sold and are being converted into a school. Julie, finding no one at home to welcome her, heads to the river. The next thing she remembers is waking up in the hospital with a head injury, not knowing what happened. The summer evolves into one of continuing mysteries and new friendships and emotions. One of the workers who has been cataloging the family's collection of antiquities has disappeared. As Julie helps her family pack their belongings, she also feels certain that some of her grandfather's pearls are missing. And then there are the issues between the local constabulary and the Travellers who spend summers on the estate, the dead body—or part of a dead body—and pearl poaching. Adding to her discomfort are her conflicted feelings for Frank, the chief contractor on the renovations, and Ellen, one of the Travellers who rescued her when she was hit on the head. While not as powerful as Code Name Verity, this title is rich in detail, mystery, and emotion. The main plot is compelling and has the added depth of Julie's growth and her interactions with the cast of interesting characters and the hints of her future romantic relationships. VERDICT A must for Verity fans and a good read for those who enjoy mystery with a touch of romance.—Janet Hilbun, University of North Texas, Denton

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.